How to connect an Xbox One controller to your iPhone to play games and more

  • To connect an Xbox One controller to your iPhone, you’ll need to have upgraded your phone to at least iOS 13.
  • You may want to use an Xbox One controller to play certain games from the Apple Arcade.
  • In order to connect your Xbox One Controller, it’ll need to be a Bluetooth-enabled controller, so you can connect it like any other Bluetooth device.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Thanks to recent iPhone updates, several Apple devices, including the iPhone, now allow users to use the Xbox One controller to play certain games. And the 2020 iOS 14 update added even more controllers, including the Xbox Elite and Adaptive Controllers.


Although not every game supports the use of controllers, several of the more popular games on the App Store allow it, including nearly every game in the Apple Arcade.

Pairing your Xbox One controller to your iPhone is extremely straightforward. Here’s how to do it.

How to connect an Xbox One controller to your iPhone

Before you can connect the controller, you need to figure out if your Xbox One controller has Bluetooth capabilities.

A Bluetooth-capable Xbox One controller has plastic around the Xbox button that matches the rest of the controller’s color. Non-Bluetooth controllers instead have plastic that matches the bumpers, which house the RB and LB buttons.

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The wireless controller (pictured left) will match the primary color of the overall controller, while a non-Bluetooth one (pictured right) will match the black color found in the bumper section.

Now, if you have an Xbox One controller with Bluetooth:

1. Hold down the Xbox One logo, located on the top center of the controller, until its backlight starts flashing. If you’re using a controller already paired with an Xbox One console, hold the small button located in between the Xbox One bumper buttons. 

2. Grab your iPhone and open the Settings app.

3. Tap “Bluetooth.” It’s one of the first options.

4. Once you’re in the Bluetooth menu, you should see a device appropriately named “Xbox One Wireless Controller.”

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Make sure the controller is not paired with anything else, or otherwise the controller will not appear.

5. Tap your controller on the list, and your iPhone will ask you if you want to pair the device. 

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Once the device is paired, you can start using it.

6. If you’re done using your controller and want to disconnect it, go to the Bluetooth menu again, tap the small “i” icon next to the device’s name, and then tap “Disconnect.”

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Pairing and unpairing your controller on your iPhone is extremely simple.

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